Geriatric trauma, frailty, and ACS trauma center verification level: Are there any correlations with outcomes? Outcomes of Geriatric Patients in Trauma Centers

Khaled El-Qawaqzeh, Louis J. Magnotti, Hamidreza Hosseinpour, Adam Nelson, Audrey L. Spencer, Tanya Anand, Sai Krishna Bhogadi, Qaidar Alizai, Michael Ditillo, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: It remains unclear whether geriatrics benefit from care at higher-level trauma centers (TCs). We aimed to assess the impact of the TC verification level on frail geriatric trauma patients’ outcomes. We hypothesized that frail patients cared for at higher-level TCs would have improved outcomes. Study Design: Patients ≥65 years were identified from the Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) database (2017–2019). Patients transferred, discharged from emergency department (ED), and those with head abbreviated injury scale >3 were excluded. 11-factor modified frailty index was utilized. Propensity score matching (1:1) was performed. Outcomes included discharge to skilled nursing facility or rehab (SNF/rehab), withdrawal of life-supporting treatment (WLST), mortality, complications, failure-to-rescue, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, hospital length of stay (LOS), and ventilator days. Results: 110,680 patients were matched (Frail:55,340, Non-Frail:55,340). Mean age was 79 (7), 90% presented following falls, and median ISS was 5 [2–9]. Level-I/II TCs had lower rates of discharge to SNF/rehab (52.6% vs. 55.8% vs. 60.9%; p < 0.001), failure-to-rescue (0.5% vs. 0.4% vs. 0.6%;p = 0.005), and higher rates of WLST (2.4% vs. 2.1% vs. 0.3%; p < 0.001) compared to level-III regardless of injury severity and frailty. Compared to Level-III centers, Level-I/II centers had higher complications among moderate-to-severely injured patients (4.1% vs. 3.3% vs. 2.7%; p < 0.001), and lower mortality only among frail patients regardless of injury severity (1.8% vs. 1.5% vs. 2.6%; p < 0.001). Patients at Level-I TCs were more likely to be admitted to ICU, and had longer hospital LOS and ventilator days compared to Level-II and III TCs (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Frailty may play an important role when triaging geriatric trauma patients. In fact, the benefit of care at higher-level TCs is particularly evident for patients who are frail. Level III centers may be underperforming in providing access to palliative and end-of-life care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110972
JournalInjury
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Frailty
  • Geriatric trauma
  • Trauma
  • Trauma centers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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